MLB Free Agency 2013: New York Yankees Interested in Torii Hunter for RF
As the calendar flips to November, baseball fans turn their eyes to the offseason.
The rumors of players involved in free agency and trades will give sportswriters plenty of material until the first pitch of Opening Day.
For the New York Yankees, one of their offseason focuses will be in right field.
Nick Swisher is a free agent and has likely seen his last days manning the position in the Bronx. Ichiro Suzuki has expressed interest in returning to the Yankees, but his return isn't guaranteed just yet. Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez may also find themselves on new teams before the end of the offseason, which leaves New York very thin in the outfield.
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees have their interest in one particular right fielder for 2013; Torii Hunter.
The Yankees have interest in Torii Hunter, a source said. Hunter is unlikely to get a qualifying offer, so he wouldn't cost a draft pick.— Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers) November 1, 2012
Should the Yankees pursue Torii Hunter for right field in 2013?
The 37-year-old just spent the last five seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, and it's very unlikely that they bring him back for next season.
Hunter is still a quality outfielder who can contribute to a team looking for a short-term solution to right field.
In 2012, Hunter hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI while playing in 140 games.
Adding that kind of bat to the Yankees lineup can help them, but more importantly, they would be adding a superior glove into the outfield.
Swisher's production in the lineup was solid, but his defense pales in comparison to Hunter, who is a nine-time Gold Glove winner.
In 2012, Hunter made $18 million in the final season of his five-year, $90 million deal he signed back in November of 2007.
As an older outfielder he's no longer going to command that kind of salary, but I can see him getting anywhere from $7-10 million for one season.
And as a short-term solution, he would fit in well with the Yankees' plans to cut payroll while maintaining a competitive team.
Tim Dierkes from MLB Trade Rumors did the site's annual Top 50 Free Agent Prediction story, where he picked the Yankees to land Hunter.
Five years ago, I would have loved for the Yankees to have gotten Hunter, but they already had Johnny Damon, along with Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera climbing the ranks.
Two coaches and one championship later, Hunter still makes a ton of sense for the Yankees.
It'll be interesting to see what other teams try to pursue Hunter, and who ends up landing his services for next season.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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